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Legislative Update: What’s Happening In The MI House And Senate

The Detroit Regional Chamber is having the essential conversations with government officials and entities behind the scenes to help mitigate the COVID-19 crisis and ensure the health of businesses in the Detroit region coming out of the crisis. The Chamber’s Government Relations team is dedicated to advising the state on how to best accommodate the needs of businesses and communities through this difficult time.

A busy week in Lansing brings key information that business leaders need to know. Highlights include:

Social Districts

The Chamber, through a statewide coalition of regional chamber of commerce, supports House Bill 5781 that would allow local governments to approve resolutions to create social districts where businesses holding a liquor license can have the opportunity to serve customers outside. The Bill was introduced last week and is awaiting its first hearing in the Michigan House.

A social district would be a common area where people would be allowed to consume alcohol purchased at a business holding any liquor license. Local governments would also have the authority to revoke the establishment of a social district.

Personal Property Tax and Resident Exemption

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-87 to extend the May 31 deadline to appeal commercial and industrial personal property assessments another 60 days. A new bill, House Bill 5766, would extend the filing deadline for personal property tax appeals to August 31, 2020. The Bill was unanimously approved by the Michigan House and Senate. It is now awaiting the governor’s signature.

The Chamber has been actively advocating for the deadline extensions on behalf of members in both House and Senate Committees and worked with the Department of Treasury to finalize the past Executive Order. The Chamber will continue to remain in close contact with key policymakers in order to ensure needed reforms and extensions like this become law.

Similarly, Senate Bill 940 would extend the deadline for claiming a principal residence exemption (PRE) one month from June 1 to July 1, 2020, if owners could not occupy the property before June 1, due to executive orders prohibiting travel to the residence because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chamber supported this bill in the Senate Finance Committee this week and it was unanimously approved. It now awaits a Senate floor vote and then will move onto the Michigan House.